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Beginner's Wood Carving Tool Sets

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  • #16
    Claude has given a great summary. When I think back to my carver beginnings (1949), my parents gave me a 5-piece palm set by Miller-Falls. I'm sure this pre-dates the formation of Flexcut. I may have already owned a pocket knife. Later, I was given a few Henckel gouges. These served me well for many years. I didn't buy a Pfeil gouge until 2001. Now I have dozens and used them almost exclusively.

    The point is, when asked to recommend tools for starting carvers, let's not load them down with all of the stuff we have come to regard as essential.
    Last edited by pallin; 01-09-2018, 01:01 PM. Reason: missing text

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    • #17
      Agree 100%! At some time it comes down to which is better, Ford or Chevy. We each have our own favorite brands, and what works for one doesn't work for another. I tell my beginner students to get the best tools that they can afford. Btw I've seen some amazing carvings done with a box cutter. Just my $.02.
      Steve Reed - Carvin' in the flatlands!

      My fb page: https://www.facebook.com/stephen.ree...8.100000156660 683&type=3

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      • #18
        What glove would you recommend, the ones I have are meat cutters gloves with a black rubbery substance on the palm. They work great but after a while they start turning the wood black a little. I have tried using the back side of the glove for the palm but it snags on everything.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by jiju1943 View Post
          What glove would you recommend, the ones I have are meat cutters gloves with a black rubbery substance on the palm. They work great but after a while they start turning the wood black a little. I have tried using the back side of the glove for the palm but it snags on everything.
          I just got a set of these https://www.amazon.com/NoCry-Resista...ng+gloves+grip
          Haven't had much whittling time lately, but I think they are interesting. The dots help a lot with gripping and I don't think they are going to mark up the workpiece. They are some kind of enhanced polyester but they advertise grade 5 cut resistance. They seem a lot less bulky than the kevlar yarn gloves I have tried. For similar ideas, search on "carving gloves grip" on Amazon.

          I have some of those white kevlar/stainless steel yarn gloves and they are entirely too stiff and slick. Some time ago I had a glove that was the standard kevlar yarn but with an added leather facing on the palm and fingers. I liked it but the leather wore out pretty fast. And the standard kevlar yarn gloves wear out pretty fast for me too.

          And like Claude, I have been known to wrap vetwrap tape on the thumb of a carving glove. It's not real pretty, but then neither am I.

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          • #20
            Honkety, I sure will be interested in reading your review of these gloves after you give them a tryout!!!

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            • #21
              Originally posted by honketyhank View Post

              I just got a set of these https://www.amazon.com/NoCry-Resista...ng+gloves+grip
              Haven't had much whittling time lately, but I think they are interesting. The dots help a lot with gripping and I don't think they are going to mark up the workpiece. They are some kind of enhanced polyester but they advertise grade 5 cut resistance. They seem a lot less bulky than the kevlar yarn gloves I have tried. For similar ideas, search on "carving gloves grip" on Amazon.

              I have some of those white kevlar/stainless steel yarn gloves and they are entirely too stiff and slick. Some time ago I had a glove that was the standard kevlar yarn but with an added leather facing on the palm and fingers. I liked it but the leather wore out pretty fast. And the standard kevlar yarn gloves wear out pretty fast for me too.

              And like Claude, I have been known to wrap vetwrap tape on the thumb of a carving glove. It's not real pretty, but then neither am I.
              I really appreciate the information, I will give those gloves a try, thank you.

              **Edit: I bought the gloves, I also discovered the gloves I have been using are only rated 2. Thanks again for the heads up.
              Last edited by jiju1943; 01-10-2018, 09:44 AM. Reason: Added

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Irish View Post

                Randy, your point is so important that I edited the first post of this thread to include directions to your post, #13. You might, if you have a few moments, edit your post to give any other safety ideas that I totally missed. Thank you for this!

                Susan
                Thank you Susan. I do not think you left anything out. This subject you could write a few books about. This is what I enjoy about this forum. We all share and another picks up where one of us left off or shares a thought or experience we may not have thought of or something we have not done.
                Randy

                WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Steve Reed View Post
                  Agree 100%! At some time it comes down to which is better, Ford or Chevy. We each have our own favorite brands, and what works for one doesn't work for another.
                  Good point !... I started with the usual leather and elastic thumb guard that most carving supply companies sell , but they didn't seem to last very long so I started experimenting with other options. Now I find what seems to work best for me is this: I buy a pair of inexpensive leather yard work gloves from the Dollar Store . I cut one of the thumbs off and wrap it with a couple of layers of vet wrap and secure that with some hot melt glue. When the vet wrap gets cut through I add a bit more vet wrap and hot glue to patch it up. It looks big and bulky, but I have grown accustomed to carving with it and feel almost naked ( don't even try to imagine that..) if I pick up my knife without wearing it. By the way I do 90% of my carving with a Stanley utility knife, and with that you really need good thumb protection.
                  Wayne
                  If you're looking for me, you'll find me in a pile of wood chips somewhere...

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                  • #24

                    These are two sites with some good basic information. One of them on different woods and the other on wood toxicity. Not everyone react the same to wood. Some of us are more sensitive different woods than another.
                    http://www.wood-database.com/
                    http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...oxicity/#chart
                    Randy

                    WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!

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                    • #25
                      The biggest complaint about all kinds of gloves that I have seen on this forum over the years ...is when you cut yourself wearing them. Including myself....while gloves do protect against most cuts,..... they do not protect against a major slip into your hand nor do the protect against a cut from the point of the tool.....people get the wrong idea wearing gloves means you do not have to be careful of where you put your hands and how much power you use. Safety of hands while wearing gloves are a must. My complaint was a good (expensive) carving glove and a slip into it....cut through the glove ...it was a pain in the butt because of the cut I could not take the glove off...but I had to cut it off....that was a nightmare. Too many people come on here and scream about the same thing that they thought the glove would protect them against all cuts ......then we get these people who come on here and say..... OH I never cut myself, that is until you talk to their wife.....you hear a whole different story. Way I figure it, if you tools are sharp,.. they can cut through almost any kind of glove, leather shoes and etc.....

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                      • #26
                        Unless I am doing a cane topper carving or fish decoy I seldom wear any type of hand, or finger protection. As a relief carver 99% of my cuts are made with the wood secured in a bench hook and made with the cutting stroke pushed away from me. Also as a relief carver I use a two-handed grip on my tools. One hand, my left, holds the tool while the forefinger of the other hand, my right, guides the direction of the stroke. So it is very difficult to jam the round gouge into the palm of my hand ... yea, done that one ... in relief.

                        Wood carving means playing with very sharp, pointed, metal thingies that are made specifically to cut wood, linoleum, plastic, and other semi-hard surfaces. Cuts are part of the process, just like getting your finger sewn through because you didn't pay enough attention as you eased the fabric through your sewing machine and now your finger is stuck in the machine with the needle going down into the bobbin case ... yea, done that one too.

                        My two worse cuts were my own fault!

                        The first one which took five stitches to close was done in a split second as I reached across my work table to grab another tool which was lying in my pile of chips, tools, and sandpaper. I grazed the edge of a straight chisel and sliced open the back of my middle finger joint. As I sat watching my doctor sew my finger closed, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, he asked me how I cut it. "I was carving!" "Oh, ham or turkey?" "3/4" Butternut!"

                        The second one is my "You are so Stupid" award-winning cut. I had brought my cat home from her bladder stone surgery. She was drunk, dopey, and irritated because of the anesthesia. To get her to settle I sat with her on the couch with her cuddled against my leg. My carving set was within reach and I am not one to just sit without doing something, so I grabbed my project and my bench knife to quietly whittle while I kept her calmed down.

                        OK, you know what's coming ... out of no where she raises her head in a drunken stupor, slams against my hand, and plunges my bench knife straight down into my thigh ... sigh. I use a large chip knife for my bench knife and there was no metal showing. Luckily a few butterfly strips took care of it, but I have added the unbreakable rule of 'never carve with a drunk cat' to my list of safety rules.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Irish View Post
                          Unless I am doing a cane topper carving or fish decoy I seldom wear any type of hand, or finger protection. As a relief carver 99% of my cuts are made with the wood secured in a bench hook and made with the cutting stroke pushed away from me. Also as a relief carver I use a two-handed grip on my tools. One hand, my left, holds the tool while the forefinger of the other hand, my right, guides the direction of the stroke. So it is very difficult to jam the round gouge into the palm of my hand ... yea, done that one ... in relief.

                          Wood carving means playing with very sharp, pointed, metal thingies that are made specifically to cut wood, linoleum, plastic, and other semi-hard surfaces. Cuts are part of the process, just like getting your finger sewn through because you didn't pay enough attention as you eased the fabric through your sewing machine and now your finger is stuck in the machine with the needle going down into the bobbin case ... yea, done that one too.

                          My two worse cuts were my own fault!

                          The first one which took five stitches to close was done in a split second as I reached across my work table to grab another tool which was lying in my pile of chips, tools, and sandpaper. I grazed the edge of a straight chisel and sliced open the back of my middle finger joint. As I sat watching my doctor sew my finger closed, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, he asked me how I cut it. "I was carving!" "Oh, ham or turkey?" "3/4" Butternut!"

                          The second one is my "You are so Stupid" award-winning cut. I had brought my cat home from her bladder stone surgery. She was drunk, dopey, and irritated because of the anesthesia. To get her to settle I sat with her on the couch with her cuddled against my leg. My carving set was within reach and I am not one to just sit without doing something, so I grabbed my project and my bench knife to quietly whittle while I kept her calmed down.

                          OK, you know what's coming ... out of no where she raises her head in a drunken stupor, slams against my hand, and plunges my bench knife straight down into my thigh ... sigh. I use a large chip knife for my bench knife and there was no metal showing. Luckily a few butterfly strips took care of it, but I have added the unbreakable rule of 'never carve with a drunk cat' to my list of safety rules.
                          Good grief, it's a good thing you didn't hit a vein. The only good thing about being cut with a very sharp knife is it doesn't hurt.

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                          • #28
                            The ANSI/ISEA Abrasion Level standards or cut resistant are what is used for food processing, Levels 3 to 5 are what appear to be recommended 5 being the most resistant. There are other scales used in different industries I am not familiar with them. But as Dileon shared it is a measurement of resistances not cut proof. And not puncture proof. I have sliced though a leveled 5 glove and I have put a small palm tool vainer though one also. But they have worked on a number of other occasions. So I wear one when I am holding the wood I am working on.
                            Randy

                            WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!

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